Life After Divorce

5 ways to keep a positive, open mind about a marriage ending

After a divorce, life changes — absolutely and without a doubt. Dissolving a marriage is challenging and trying, but emerging on the other side empowered and self-aware is an opportunity to enrich your life after divorce.

Feeling

You will feel many different emotions after the dissolution of your union. You shared your life, a home and maybe children with this partner, and you learned a great deal about yourself. Be honest with yourself if you have feelings of loss, but also recognize your progress. Do not compare single life after divorce to any other stage of your life. Choose to be present with where you are without victimizing yourself. Recognize your stage of healing before beginning to date after divorce.

Healing

Give yourself time to reflect and integrate the changes in your life, and then make a conscious choice to move forward. With the right attitude, you can get through the natural feelings that arise after divorce, such as fear, guilt, blame or inadequacy. You will be happier if you let go of these negative feelings, and remember all the great things about yourself. Counseling or therapy will offer you professional support as you adjust and adapt to life after divorce.

Learning

Make the choice to recommit to yourself. Be grateful for the lessons you learned while you were married, and rid yourself of old patterns that do not benefit your new life. After a divorce is an ideal time to concentrate on activities which make you truly happy. Expand your commitment to these actions instead of clinging to the past. Allow yourself to feel empowered by the growing interest in your own life. Create the conditions for your happiness.

Support

Make commitments to yourself and the people you love to help reaffirm your strong foundation. Your group of friends may or may not change, but sharing your experience is important for healing. Divorce support groups are a healthy way to exchange information with others who are very likely going through many of the same feelings during single life after divorce. Alternatively, private counseling or therapy will provide professional guidance. Surround yourself with positive support and listen to others' advice if they have experience. You are not alone.

Dating

Begin dating when you feel emotionally ready. There is no precise formula for dating and divorce — only when you feel self-aware and free of fear will you truly benefit from new companionship or romance. Dating after divorce may feel challenging or intimidating, but there are many healthy social relationships in which to participate, such as smiling at strangers, going out in groups, flirting or exploring Internet dating. Staying busy with hobbies or other fulfilling activities will enliven your dating conversation and allow you to focus on the present instead of the past. Perhaps you are reevaluating your beliefs or priorities; be clear with yourself first before dating after divorce. Be open to new experiences and stay true to your heart.

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